The weather gods were not kind but just prior to us leaving home, the sky was clear so we drove to our meeting point. A few brave Z enthusiasts greeted us at Heathcote and we huddled together out of the rain to discuss our plans. We voted to continue on our epic journey despite the weather. Z enthusiasts are a tough group.
A short 30 min drive had us arriving at Sublime Point during a perfect break in the rain and clouds. A group selfie, a look at the view and then back to the warmth of our cars. Sunrise Nursery at Helensburgh was a welcoming stopover for coffee, hot chocolates and a chance to all catch up on Z conversations. Terry surprised everyone with his new 350Z which proved a great choice on the day, with the heated seats.
Then the fun part of the day commenced, driving the Grand Pacific Drive. Advantages of inclement weather – very few other cars, no pushbikes, plenty of parking spots. It was a great, leisurely drive winding through the National Park. Some of our group then headed home while the rest of us headed to Kamay National Park Kurnell. As we arrived the sun came out and we had a great view of the bay and the whale bone sculptures. A short drive to Talotta’s Pizza was a good way to end the day. Awesome food while surrounded in car memorabilia.
Many thanks to everyone who left the warmth of a cosy home to join the day out. Due to Covid, it might be a while before we get to enjoy another one.
Winter had arrived as we assembled at the old Toll Gates at Berowra and so had the local highway patrol, not that they bothered us. As a warning whilst waiting for the start time to click around we witnessed hundreds of bicyclists passing by, all going in the same direction as us. With the driver briefing completed we headed out onto the Old Pacific Highway. I must say it’s no mean feat to stay on the Old Pacific Highway as all signs and the GPS lead to the M1 Pacific Motorway. Even more complex are the series of intersections leading to Calga, Mt White, Peats Ridge and on to Mangrove Central.
Everyone had some interesting passing moves to accommodate
the bike riders on the sometimes very narrow Old Pacific Highway. Eventually we
arrived at the two lane 110 kmh area and opened the lungs of the Zeds so they
could finally appreciate the cold air fuel mix.
First stop was Jerry’s Café where we met a 100 or so motor
bike riders enjoying a coffee. It was a machine extravaganza for all concerned,
although a lone D-Type Jaguar seemed to attract much attention as did many of
From here the trivia questions began. There was much
celebration that the prizes for the winners would be some very special
Presidents Run jams and John’s much sort after Tomato Chilli Relish. Some of
the teams (knowing what the treats were) wanted to buy these on the spot.
Adding to the mix was the offer for participants to buy answers to questions.
Arriving in Wollombi the race was on to search out the trivia answers. I
couldn’t believe how competitive some of the ladies were! Some members fell in
love with the charm of Wollombi and this will be a favourite place to return
to. Leaving Wollombi our overall speed increased significantly to the delight
of the navigators (NOT) and all had great fun on the never ending corners for a
little over an hour. The Zeds really got a workout on this road….
Arriving at Harrigan’s Irish Pub for lunch we were able to
park in a discrete Zed parking area. The hotel were organised with our tables
ready. Everyone had a hearty meal and then with much anticipation it was time
to announce the trivia winners. The results were very interestingly as we had a
draw for first place with Mark and Kathy and Jamie and Joanne both dropping
only ½ a point who received a very
delectable selection of the President Run prizes. Third were Brad and Darrelle,
forth Andrew and Sophie, followed by Andrew and Ester. The President then made
sure that all attending received some of the treats as a thank you for
supporting the event.
The afternoon saw us all distribute to various places across
the Hunter Valley for wine tasting and then onto the Foghorn boutique brewery
for a tour, I believe some of the ladies enjoyed bubbles and cheese. I could
not believe how good the Slatted Magpie Porters was and the Ginger and chilli
beer from Foghorn were. Just amazing! Dinner was arranged at The Mighty Pub
(Previously called Potters) with all enjoying excellent food and company.
Sunday morning we travelled the short distance to the Hunter
Recreational Flying Club for a huge breakfast and then a tour of the hangers
and Flying Club member’s aeroplanes. Joy
flights in club member’s planes was an enormous success. The smiles were
intoxicating particularly when Lawson was offered the pilot’s seat to fly the
plane, his younger brother Cam was also given the same opportunity.
Of course the best dressed Zed club members wore the
President’s Run commemorative shirt!
It’s always good to see new comers come along with Andrew and Sophie, Mark and Kathy and Scott all attending. Scott certainly kept me honest negotiating the corners at ridiculously sensible speeds (Ha!). Anyway thanks to everyone that attended and made a positive contribution to making this a great event.
The day started at the Pheasants Nest Service Centre, to reduce the timeline of a long day out. There were a few introductions to new faces to our social events and a surprise new addition to the Twyman family of cars.
The convoy of 10 Z cars headed off and regrouped at Mittagong Information Centre. Perfect spot for a photo opportunity, as we had the carpark to ourselves. Barbara used the short rest stop to accumulate a few more brochures and maps on possible holidays or car events.
It was a beautiful drive towqrds Wombeyan Caves and out into the countryside. A few cars diverted but quickly rejoined the convoy. All was going great until the road expectantly became unsealed. Not a big issue, just added to the adventure.
The Joadja Distillery is positioned in a valley that encompasses historic stories of the shale mining era. The tour guide was extremely well informed and made the history lesson very comical. We all enjoyed lots of Gin, Whiskey and Brandy tastings and made several purchases.
Off to Bowral for lunch at the Mill. Now that Covid restrictions have eased, new food outlets have opened that may also be worth trying at a later date.
Thanks to everyone who joined in the days activities and for Barbara’s suggestion of the event
Big Daddy’s Burger bar was again the meeting place for our
March Event to the Southern Highlands. The weather could not have been better.
Members gathered for the 8.30 start. A good representation of Z models were
shining in the morning sun.
First stop, Twin Servos at Pheasants nest, a leisurely
30-minute drive where 3 other cars joined in. Off we go down the freeway toward
Mittagong. Then on to Bowral where heads were turning young and old as the now
12 Zeds drove through the main street in formation.
The roads started to open out and so did some of our
Members. Sheep wash Road led on to the Illawarra highway and down through the
Robertson Township. The local motorcycle police officer was highly active in
the area which made us all feel very safe. Luckily, he was so busy dealing with
others that he left us alone.
We arrived at the Tree top walk to plenty of parking. We were
able to all park in formation which made some good photo opportunities for the
group. The views were spectacular as long as a little side to side movement of
the walking platform didn’t worry you. Some chose to sit out the walk and have
a good old chat instead. Either way, everyone was happy. Just because our Zeds
run a little rich and are a little over the odds when it comes to CO2
emissions, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be environmentalists. Luckily, there
were plenty of trees around to filter the fumes!
Time to head back to Robertson for Lunch. Slight delay as
the local cows blocked the roadway but were soon encouraged off into the bush,
then it was a quick stop at Carrington Falls. This was an unexpected highlight;
the recent rains made the falls spectacular. The last time we went to a
waterfall in the Southern Highlands, Member Barry Godfrey was heard saying that
his morning shower had more water flow! Good one Baz.
Lunch was at the Robertson Public House and kitchen,
otherwise known as the Robbo Pub!! The food was exceptional, Prices were good
and the drinks cold. What more do you need? Nice likeminded people who share
the love of Zeds. Well, we had that too.
A big thank you to Brad and Darelle for organising a perfect day. A big thank you to the members and guests who came along to make it a success. Spread the word about our events and let’s see if we can get even more members enjoying our Club outings.
The February AGM led to the election of a revised Committee. The new committee decided to try something a little different by organising a Member brunch at Havilland Park, Warragamba dam. This time slot worked with quite a few members who had other commitments a little later in the day but were still able to attend.
Members started to arrive just before the 9am starting time and quickly swung the BBQ into action with Sausages, Bacon and eggs all sizzling away. We were blessed with the weather and this was complimented by a large clean shelter capable of seating all members.
We had a great roll up of members, past, present, and even a few new members signing up for this year. With over 40 people and 20 cars it was considered a great success and members seemed to enjoy the whole experience.
A big thank you to all who supported the event and we look forward to seeing you at the next event in late March.
As we normally don’t have excursions in January due to the number of public holidays and members on annual leave this was a bit of a “rush job”. Ray was requested to organise this excursion expediently so that members could be given reasonable notice and, particularly as it was to be held in the evening.
The venue was Talotta’s Pizzeria at Kurnell. Tony, the proprietor is a mad car enthusiast who has named his pizza offerings after different car makes and there is a huge choice of different pizzas on the menu.
Similar to other members, except those that live locally, Ray last visited Kurnell as a kid to play in the sandhills. Because of the timeframe and location there was to be no convoy and members were to make their own travel route arrangements. This was to be an extended journey for most members except for a few “locals”.
Joe was the first to arrive at Talotta’s and Robyn and Ray joined him some time later and waited for the arrival of the other members. The weather still looked a bit “iffy” and fortunately the booking had been made for indoors just in case.
The inside of the restaurant was adorned with all sorts of car memorabilia from pictures to car “bits”. The inside area is fairly limited and Ray was a little concerned about adequate seating as there had been thirteen verified attendees.
John, Kaye, Jamie, John Hewett, Des and Eileen filtered in initially and as time progressed more members arrived until there was nineteen in total – a great total for a quickly planned night time run. There was a total of twelve cars in the Talotta’s car park belonging to members.
Members grabbed the available seats which consisted of benches and outlying pouffes – it was crowded but everyone fitted. Although the restaurant is unlicensed members availed themselves of the bottle shop next door.
Before too long the meals started to arrive and members enjoyed the high quality pizzas on offer. For those that ordered ribs – this consisted of delicious meat on one side only – which made it easier to eat with a knife and fork, rather than have to eat with your fingers and make a mess!
Someone was celebrating a birthday at a nearby table as music suddenly exploded and everybody stopped talking at once – whaddyaknow, live entertainment!
Conversations continued for some hours before the first of the members started to leave. It had been a pleasant, enjoyable evening with a good turnout of members, in spite of January being a busy holiday month and the excursion being held in the evening.
After the axing of the East Hills venue for the Z
Club’s Show & Shine , it was necessary to find an alternative venue – and
Ray negotiated over a couple of weeks with the
management of the Arena Sports Club, and it was finally resolved that their car
park could be utilised for the event. However, because of Covid-19 restrictions
numbers would have to be constrained and it was agreed that attendance would be
limited to club members and their immediate families.
It was necessary to correlate the event so that the
car display and judging would lead into the booked lunch time as the weather
was predicted to be rather hot, and members wouldn’t want to be hanging around outside
the club waiting for lunch.
The event officially started at 11.ooam and by this
time a total of nineteen “Z” cars had assembled. These ranged from 240Zs to
370Zs with standard, modified and highly modified versions on display.
Andrew, unable to get his multi coloured 260Z
registered in time had borrowed his mate’s trailer and towed it from the North
Sunglasses were almost mandatory to view Sam’s
stunning maroon 300ZX TT with fully chromed engine! The only vehicles not
represented were unmodified 280Zs and 350Zs.
With judging completed and the temperature
continuing to rise it was thankfully time to enter the air conditioned Club
Arena for lunch.
Ray had made arrangements with Bea, the
Catering/Events Manager to streamline the entrance of members into the club by
providing a list of those attending (with him being nominated as the contact
This saved considerable time and allowed members to
be seated in an expedient manner. At this point in time a head count indicated
a total of twenty five members and guests. Which, when considering the problems
caused by Covid-19 was a good turnout.
Because of the number of members present it was
going to take some time for meals to be prepared – so this would be a good
opportunity to make the presentations for both the different categories of “Z”
cars and the point score awards.
Craig, Terry and Ray combined to present trophies to
the owners of the Z cars in the various categories as well as the Z Car point
score recipients. Meals were now being served, so official proceedings ended to
allow members to enjoy their dinners.
Overall, the Show & Shine proved to be very
successful with a good attendance of enthusiastic members whose passion for Z
vehicles showed in the excellent presentation of all vehicles on display.
The winners of the various Z car categories and
point score award recipients are listed below.
1st Place 240 Z standard – Darrelle
Place 240 Z modified – John Hewett
1st Place 260 Z standard _ Brad Twyman
1st Place 260 Z modified – Andrew Rogers
1st Place 260 Z 2+2 standard – Eamonn
1st Place 280 Z modified – Brian Haines
1st Place Z 31 standard – Barry Godfrey
1st Place Z32 300 ZX Standard – Josh
1st Place Z32 300 ZX Twin Turbo – John
1st Place Z32 300 ZX Twin Turbo modified
– Sam Raihan
The day started well with optimistic weather forecasts – but the great unknown is always the consideration of who will turn up for the cruise. Not to worry! By the time Robyn and Ray arrived there was already a good number of cars parked outside Big Daddy’s. As coffee and extras were being consumed, numbers started to swell. There was a mixed bag of vehicles amongst the Z mobiles including the bright red Jensen Healey and the Austin Healey 3000. Michael (potential member) had brought his rather interesting two tone 370Z roadster which he had recently purchased. Ray had decided (with the tyre issues of his 370Z on the last excursion) to bring his non Z white sedan while awaiting the purchase of a new set of tyres for the “Z”.
Coffee and small talk (suspended for now) it was time to hit the road. The excursion maps had been planned in two parts in order that the Grand Pacific Drive with its superb views could be part of the journey. Merely inputting Club Thirroul into the GPS would result in a direct route to Club Thirroul bypassing the more scenic route.
There was a bit of a scramble to get out of the Big Daddy’s environs with its narrow street access. This resulted in the Zedders having to queue up for several minutes. Ray (who was supposed to be leading the convoy) got swallowed up in the traffic jam and was second last in the queue. Des, fortunately, leading the convoy, pulled over on Parkers Farm Pl and allowed Ray to resume the lead. Turning onto the Camden Valley Way the convoy hit the tricky M5 turnoff within a few hundred metres, and, inevitably the vast majority of the convoy didn’t manage to get through. Slow to 70kms/hr and hope the convoy catches up on the M5 before the Heathcote Rd slip road. Not happening! Despite Ray slowing up there was no sign of the convoy. Ray finally managed to find a safe spot to pull over on Heathcote Rd. He, Robyn and Barry then patiently waited for the convoy to catch up. There they are! Flashing lights and horns had no effect – the convoy didn’t slow down and went storming past leaving Ray and Barry far behind. That went well!! Ultimately the convoy was sighted some time later perched on the cliff overlooking Thirroul taking photos and admiring the view. Ray and Robyn decided to continue down Grand Pacific Drive ahead of the convoy to ensure that Club Thirroul had made all the necessary booking arrangements for the Z Car Club. They slowed to take photos on the way down and take in the great scenery.
Arriving at Club Thirroul, Ray spoke to the Manager and was taken to the conference room. A bit of reorganisation of the furniture would ensure that everyone was seated comfortably and comply with Covd-19 restrictions. All done. Now wait for the Zedders to arrive. The conference room was quickly filled with Z car club members – head count was 31 with 20 cars belonging to our members in the car park. The Z car members fortunately had the conference room to themselves. Club Thirroul did a great job of getting meals to members expediently, in spite of the large numbers present. Prices were considerably cheaper than most clubs and the food was of a good standard. The Club Thirroul photographer asked if he could take photos of our group for the Club Thirroul Facebook page. Members filed outside and were photographed with their cars.
This was a fitting end to a very enjoyable, successful and well attended excursion.
Like the previous aborted St Albans excursion
earlier in 2020, weather was not entirely promising. Frequent showers were
apparent from early morning and the grey skies looked a bit menacing.
However, life is all about challenges, so ignore the
conditions and head off to McDonalds at Thornleigh – the first stopping point.
The Z car group were coming from all directions of
the compass, but those using the M7 would have found it quite a good run with
free flowing traffic and no apparent gendarmerie present.
Right! There it is, the ubiquitous Pennant Hills
Road -always cluttered with narrow lanes barely wide enough for the vehicular
traffic. Although driving at a moderate rate, Ray and Robyn arrived very early
at McDonalds at around 8.20am. They were the first to arrive, and after about
forty minutes were still the only Z car people present.
However, people started trickling in after 9.00am
and things started to look a bit brighter. David with his unpretentious bright
red 370Z roadster plastered with Bridgestone decals from Kurri Kurri, Jake with
his very rare 200ZR turbo (which is a variant of the Z31), Emily (potential
member) with her Z32 NA and Jordan riding shotgun. Chris and Margo were also welcomed,
along with Andrew, Esther and others.
Right! Coffee to energize the group, and then a quick perusal of the aforementioned vehicles. After a catchup and some technical discussions it was time to hit the road. Chris being a native of the Northwest“volunteered” to lead the convoy to the Settlers Arms Inn at St Albans. Winding around the back streets, the cars piled up waiting for the lights on Pennant Hills Road to change. After an inordinate amount of time the lights finally changed but only allowed a few cars through. So much for trying to keep the convoy intact!
Fortunately, Chris managed to pull over on Boundary Road and the convoy was able to reform. The convoy was able to pick up speed and the journey became a bit more enjoyable. However, along the way there was a bit of drama. Ray managed to pick up part of an oil slick and with the water and the oil the 370Z was fishtailing all over the road even at low speeds. The traction control light was continually being illuminated and he was forced into a “granny mode”.
Chris was doing an excellent job of keeping the
convoy together but traffic and the ever present “clown drivers” were not
making it easy – so the convoy was becoming disjointed. At Galston, Chris
decided to pull over in a large cleared space and allow the rest of the convoy
to catch up. This gave the Zedders time for a photo shoot and a chance to
stretch their legs.
Ultimately, the convoy reformed and took off heading
towards Wisemans Ferry. This now allowed the convoy to get up to speed and
enjoy the scenery and enjoy the challenge of the twisty bends.
Chris’s part of the convoy surged ahead and
correctly arrived at the Webb St Ferry. However, the second group of straggling
Zedders took the wrong turn and ended up at the dreaded Wisemans Ferry ( where
a perilous dirt road awaited on the other side of the river).Fortunately,
realising their mistake they moved out and re-joined the convoy for the correct
After a short ferry trip, the Zedders entered “boy racer territory” in the form of the St Albans Rd. This is a fantastic 20kms of twisty bends with speeds of 80-100kms/hr which demands concentration and driving skill. With eye-catching scenery thrown in – it is a memorable drive!
Catching up with the “direct drive” members at the Settlers Arms Inn – there was a pleasing total of nineteen people and fourteen cars – which was an excellent result taking the showery weather into the equation. The manager had generously provided the club members with two private rooms which were quickly filled. After ordering, food was served promptly to the Zedders and the meals proved to be of a good standard.
Conversations continued for a number of hours as
members were introduced to new members and potential members. Lots of smiles
all round proved those attending had really enjoyed the day. The Zedders then
straggled out and got in their cars to start the journey (in some cases a long
Another successful excursion in spite of the
pandemic and its restrictions.